Richard Posner Drifting To The Left?

Richard Posner, a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has long been considering a leading conservative legal thinker. However, in an interview with NPR yesterday, Posner said

“There’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking. And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking.”I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.”

Although Posner has never been considered a party-line conservative, he was a Reagan nominee considered ideologically solid enough to be a possible Supreme Court candidate in the Bush administration—-albeit not enough to actually be nominated. Posner also has a huge amount of influence on American legal thought as one of the most widely cited judges and legal scholars in the country. It’s not that Posner’s comments will sway votes, after all he’s not exactly a celebrity. But the people paying attention to him will shape the direction of the law for decades to come. And if a leading conservative thinker has lost respect for the GOP, that’s worth noticing.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs is a journalist living in New York. He is a former reporter for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and contributor to the Boston Globe editorial page. Follow him on Twitter @bencjacobs.